Game Update 1.2: PvP Preview
Game Update 1.2 brings with it a plethora of PvP changes, including a new set of gear, join us for a look at what's to come.
Patch Notes 1.2: Legacy
The highly anticipated Game Update 1.2, Legacy, has finally arrived. See the patch notes for the huge amount of changes that await in game.
Alderaan News Holopics: Issue #16
Holo-stills all the way from the outer rim to the inner depths of the core worlds.
Star Wars: The Old Republic E3 Demo Preview
Jeff and I were the first to see this demo, and the only ones who were able to see the demo twice. Here is what we saw, as this was a watch only demo:
The demo started off with the devs telling us about the flexibility of time in The Old Republic, and how the 300 year gap allowed both Bioware and LucasArts to fill in the gaps of history and begin to fully imagine the Star Wars timeline.
After a brief description of the time frame, we were shown the Sacking of Coruscant video in HD. After the video it was explain to us that they wanted a similar feeling of action, story, and so on all working at once to create a masterpiece to behold. As they put it, “Choice drives story, story drives action.”
After this, we moved onto the in-game demo:
This was the first class we were shown, and it has been confirmed that this class starts on Hutta, a planet stolen by the Hutts and basically claimed as their home planet.
The main quest we were on at the moment was the “Great Hunt”, a hunting competition held by the Mandalorians to find the best hunters in the galaxy.
To start this quest off, we went into the first ever live showing of the dialogue system:
Welcome to Mass Effect multiplayer.
We went up to an NPC and instead of the text box appearing, a mini cinematic appeared of us talking to them Mass Effect/KOTOR style. There was a man in charge, his female assistant, and an alien hunter on the side. The three of them moved, talked, and had full body/facial expressions while speaking. After a few lines were thrown back and forth between them and to us, we had a chance to talk.
What would happen to appear?
A Mass Effect dialogue wheel. We chose an option and lo and behold, our character was fully voiced (by the wonderful Steven Blum, well known for his portrayal of characters like Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop) with his own expressions and so on. This continued for a few more lines before we were sent off to do our duty.
Now, the system is, as they say, indeed fully voiced. There are optional subtitles as well. As was stated by the devs, both male and female characters have the choice between multiple voice actors to portray their character so that everyone does not sound the same.
We ran outside of our base to see Hutta in all glory. It was about now that the Stylized realism was explained, and that they were going for a unique, almost concept art feel which was portrayed amazingly well. It was indeed like being in a 3D painting and the colors, shapes, and so on were all easy on the eyes.
Outside, we saw the massive palace of the local Hutt lord and his many cronies littering the area. So, obviously, we attacked them.
I will expand upon this further down, but the combat does not often have you fighting 1 person at a time. Like KOTOR, you often fight multiple enemies at once to portray you as an above the norm type of character, or “Hero” as they put it.
We started off by fighting groups of 3, all of which had blasters. We ran close, then uploaded our blaster pistol. Now, what really sold the guns were the amazing sounds provided by LucasArts, and when he fired he would fire a small volley of shots to the person, often knocking them down or causing them to flinch in pain. As was shown, the Bounty Hunter was capable of firing his gun while moving in any direction.
We then tested out some of his gadgets. The hunter fired a wrist mounted rocket at the thugs, which exploded and knocked the target on his back and did quite a bit of damage. After a few more shots we ran up and unloaded a flamethrower stream on their puny bodies. The stream worked upon a counter bar that quickly extinguished. As the flames hit them, they went up in flames and tried to put themselves out while also trying to attack you.
We then backed up and unloaded on them. Two of them died pretty quickly and the last tried to find cover. He died pretty quickly with a rocket to the face.
We then posed, then the screen went black. Next, Smuggler:
This was an E3 reveal, but as they said a very poorly kept secret.
We went right into combat with the Smuggler. He was equipped with a pistol and we killed guy right off the bat. The Dev noted that the Smuggler was capable of firing behind his back while running, shooting around corners, from cover, and so on. Generally, they wanted to base the class off of the combat style of Han Solo. Since the class itself is not heavily armored and limited in range, they chose this style to balance the odds against heavier opponents by basically being underhanded as hell.
The smugger starts out on Ord Mantel in the demo.
The Smuggler is capable of using cover. How this works is that when you walk up to certain objects like corners, trees, boxes, and so on a little green silhouette will appear. You click on this silhouette and he will take the position, hiding by either crouching or standing depending and firing at his opponent. This system was pretty fluid in the alpha version we watched.
Not much else was particularly said about this class till the end when melee moves were confirmed. The Smuggler ran up to a weakened thug, and then magic happened: he kicked him square in the groin, then shot him in the head to finish him. Yep, you read that correctly.
After this, the Smuggler screen went black as the Smuggler waves.
Now onto Sith:
SITH, FLASH POINTS, AND CO-OP:
This next demo was based upon many things happening at once.
The main char, now a moderately level Sith, is with another player character Bounty Hunter. We walked up to a Captain to ask him a few questions, as we have been told that he refused to follow orders to find a Jedi in his sector.
The two walked up to him, and the conversation mini-scene began. As with the first conversation, we talked to multiple people on the bridge at once and every single one of them was voice acted with movement and expressions. The Sith questioned him on the situation, and then something interesting happened:
SWTOR is the first RPG to allow co-op/multi-player conversations. The Sith was the character to talk to the Captain, but both the Sith and Bounty Hunter were given the options to talk one at a time. The Sith asked a question, the Captain responded, and then the Bounty Hunter commented on the situation.
For most press, they were allowed to choose only one of the outcomes. One outcome is that we let the Captain live, and the other was to let him die. Jeff and I were allowed to see both, so here is what happened:
KILL THE CAPTAIN:
In this sequence, Bounty Hunter or the Sith executes the Captain. If the Sith, he pulls his saber out and cuts him down. If the Bounty Hunter, he hits him to his knees and shoots him in the head, the Captain off camera. This was interesting, as we both assumed the decision was going to be based off of the Sith as he was the one to initiate conversation.
We then proclaimed our dominance. The crew bowed to our will, and a nearby droid confirmed that, by Sith law, we were now captain and owners of this vessel.
We then jumped to hyperspace only to be attacked by a Republic transport. Boarding parties came towards the ship and the two of us told the crew we would take care of it.
The vessel we are on is massive. About the size of the ravager, expect with larger halls and so on. We ran to the halls and boarding pods smashed through the walls and Republic Troops piled out.
The game then became very similar to BattleFront, as there were maybe 10 or more people attacking the two of them at once. The Sith used a Force ability to quickly force jump right into the group and do an AOE lightning attack. We then got to see some lightsabre combat.
The abilities bar gave us multiple attack options. Regular attack just had him casually fighting the troopers with his sabre, but using some abilities had him either attacking much faster with quick slices, or strong and slow attacks. The combat was similar to KOTOR’s, but with a looser, almost Battlefront feel to it.
At the end of every Trooper’s life, the Sith would perform an execution. This usually involved stabbing the trooper through the chest in some elaborate manner. Troopers would pull out a sword when confronted with Melee and would parry and attack, but in the end were no match.
What is interesting to note, however, is that while sword fighting the character would throw his sword to the side or behind him to deflect blaster bolt fire back or away from him. This gave a pretty fluid look to combat similar to that of KOTOR, but not as stiff.
The Bounty Hunter character was also fighting, firing rockets and blaster bolts into the groups. One of the higher level abilities we saw was the Bounty Hunter lifting off with the Jetpack and unleashing hell upon a few groups, rapidly firing blaster bolts before firing some wrist rockets their way.
After a few groups of this, we made our way to the Engine room which was heavily, heavily detailed with a full engine working above us. We jumped down and took out a Padawan and some troops before a full Jedi ran through the shielding and took us on. The Sith deflected blaster bolts as the Jedi attacked and we fought back. After the Bounty Hunter cleaned up the troopers, he moved onto the Jedi. We then did combo moves like picking up Jedi with a Force Grip, then having the Bounty Hunter fire and wrist rocket him. The impact broke the Force Grip, but the combination did a massive amount of damage.
After the Jedi died, the dev took his saber, equipped duel sabers, then the demo was over.
SPARED THE CAPTAIN:
There is some overlap, but also some differences with this one. We let the captain live, who turned out to share your dislike of his superior officer and claimed that finding the Jedi was a waste of valuable resources he was saving for bigger attacks. He turned out to be reasonable, and we jumped to hyperspace before falling out and being attacked by the Transport. This time the Captain informed us of an advanced boarding party in the hanger, and the two of us headed out to clean them up. We made an ally with the Captain and crew, and gained a lightside point. Killing him gave a darkside.
After a few groups of boarding parties like above, we jumped into the docking bay where a Republic landing ship had arrived. We killed a Jedi Padawan at the door which was a fight that ended fairly quickly. We took out a few troops, then the ship got up and began firing upon them. The Bounty Hunter and Sith had to take cover as it fired, unloaded some Troopers and a Jedi Knight, then zoomed off.
The bounty hunter dev focused fire on the troopers as we charged the Jedi. After a fairly lengthy fight, we managed to take him down with a force choke, a few lightsaber exchanges, then a lightsaber stab to the gut, killing him.
As with above, the dev equipped the other saber and the screen went black.
This confirmed looting, dual sabers, and gave a glimpse of combat from various classes.
I noticed the music in the game was the music from K1, so expect some KOTOR/possibly TSL music to appear in the game.
We noticed a few glitches in the Alpha. Some minor lag in some spots, people standing up but not moving after being killed, and so on. Minor stuff, and nothing to be concerned about. We did have the game crash on us when jumping jumping to hyperdrive, but that was quickly reset and fixed for us.
The Flash Point scene was a private, closed off area for only you and someone you brought along from the looks of it. no other players, so it is safe to assume this was a single player area. We saw some people on Hutta, but they were just going about their normal business.
As the devs told us, the majority of the game can be done without a single bit of help from another player. They said that the main appeal of MMOs is the experience single player with the option of being with other players. They confirmed that names, chat, and so on could all be turned off or ignored if you really, really wanted absolutely nothing to do with other people.
Naming filters have been confirmed. No numbers, special characters, or Star Wars names. They emphasized the strictness of this system, as they seemed to agree on the assumption it could be immersion, if not game breaking.
Auction Houses? Yes.
Words cannot fully describe what the demo was like, but I think it was damn good and is now fully on my radar. Hope this answered some questions, and feel free to ask a few and I’ll see if I can answer them. Try to keep them relevant to this article however, as I only know what I saw in the demo.