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 Interview
This year at E3 True_Avery and I got the chance to sit down with LucasArts Executive Producer Tom Nichols to ask your questions about The Old Republic and threw in a few of our own. And we hit solid gold: Jumping is confirmed! Hit the break to read the full interview.
Tom Nichols: (laughs) Yes, actually. In the Demo, You can press Space Bar and jump up and down. But, as was shown in the demo you can jump straight into the action as a Jedi or Sith which makes the combat really compelling.
TN: We have not really talked about that yet. We’ve got some ideas and a good design, but are not really ready to talk about that yet.
TN: I cannot really say anything on future plans, but I would certainly hope so.
TN: There are some connections, and some characters who are decedents of some of the characters who were made famous by the games, but because of the 300 year time difference you won see the exact same characters. We’ve talked about maybe there are some characters that do not age like humans do. Like HK-47.
TN: I think that is a great question. There are a lot of reason’s why we put this together: Bioware felt that it was time for them to get into the MMO genre, and they felt they could bring their great story to the genre which has previously been missing. Classic role-plying games are about character progression, exploration, story, and combat. Those are your 4 main pillar for a Role-play game. MMO’s have had great character progression and lot sof combat, but have not delivered on that story pillar. That is why we pulled this project together; LucasArts is known for story telling games like Monkey Island and the Star Wars stuff, and the Star Wars brand is about storytelling and the Bioware brand is about making great stories.
Each class is going to have its own story. Hundreds of gameplay hours that is going to be unique to each class. Regardless of what class or side, we are never going to have the same questions and missions cross over. Like we’ve said, we’re not just making KOTOR 3, but KOTOR 3, 4, 5, and so on all together into one huge project.
TN: Losing what Immersion? I think we are delivering MORE immersion than Kotor did.
TN: Well, for naming issues we have many name filters in place and stuff like that so you cannot use names like Solo, Han, Leia, and so on. I think the important part of this is that people who play MMOs like WoW and Guild Wars often play by themselves for a large part of the time. That is an interesting dynamic of MMO’s, they still deliver a great single player experience. If you want to reach out and play with other players that experience is there and it is great, but if you don’t do don’t have to. I play a lot of MMO’s myself, and I don’t find anything negative about it. You can turn off your chat, turn off names, ignore players, and so on and the end result is very nice,
TN: We’ll have more information on that later.
TN: Typical MMO, as you will be able to loot anything you kill with items appropriate to the thing you just killed.
TN: I think the message here is that if I was talking to a heavy Kotor fan and i asked him/her what they were expecting, I’d bet you that Old Republic delivers on all those expectations. We’ve put into this game what would have been in a K3, and I hope they are pleased with it.
TN: What we’ve talked about, and shown in the demo, is that you’ll have choices, especially in conversations, in which you can choose a light/dark side choice regardless of what side or class you are on. Characters will react to these decisions based on your allignment based on your class and side, as what you may do may not be the norm for your character. For example, you may do something and a character will point out that the action was not the way of the Jedi at all, yet you are a republic Jedi. We wanted to make the experience personal, which comes with freedom and role play.
TN: Players will have companions. We have not announced what they will be, but you will get them early in the game. Like we’ve said, Han always had Chewy and Luke always had R2 and c3po and all that stuff so we wanted to bring this experience to the game. They will fight with you, talk with you, and comment on your decisions. They may be angry with you killing someone, or make a snarky comment at you like “That isn’t what a Jedi does” and things like that. They will help you in combat, which will help early players get used to the combat and so on without being initially overwhelmed and compromising your experience.
TN: In the demo, we showed there is a mana like system that covers Jedi and Sith. Beyond that we have not talked about ammunition at all. As was seen with the Sith class, we have the concept of Action Points with the combat to pool points and use greater attacks.
TN: That is something we are looking at. We have not finalized anything, but I think there are some very good reasons why MMO’s like World of Warcraft have done what they have done.
TN: We have not talked specifically about it, but any good Star Wars game would deliver upon having a compelling space experience. That is our goal.
TN: It is hard to put a number of that, and we’re stilling building the game. But, as mentiond before, we think that a large part of the sucess of the MMO genre is allowing Single Player capability and a good game experience. Single player fans shouldn’t worry about it hindering their experience.
TN: The Bioware team has a lot of technologies and have customized them to work together and deliver the experience that we’re trying to provide. The HeroEngine is there, and it has been highly customized in order to deliver.
TN: That is the goal, that we’ve got a system spec that works on computers that have been on the market for a few years while also catering to the people with triple SLI rigs and will be optimized for as many systems as possible.
TN: Yes, the cover system is something new. We felt that in order to make some of the iconic roles in star wars really work (like the smuggler), you have to make ranged combat work. So, we put in a cover system that will help with this class. I think what we’re trying to do is bring a unique combat experience to each class, so that you can see a smuggler/han solo type class and regonize the battle style as something that person would do.
TN: I think that it gives an experience visually that looks like Star Wars, but creates its own visual identity in the mind of the player. This is important as we want people to recognize this game when seeing a video, or looking at a screenshot and just instantly recognize what that game is. With a lot of Star Wars games on the market, we felt that we needed to seperate ourselves from those games to be unique, as well as to separate ourselves from the Star Wars Galaxies MMO look.
TN: We’ll see how things go. We still have a very dedicated Galaxies base, and we’re still providing updates, content packs, and other such things to the game. So far they seem to be loving it and the response has been positive, so as long as the community is there and as long as it works for us and Sony we’re willing to keep the game alive.
TN: I think it will be very customizable. In most MMOs you start with a certain look, but once you hit level 10 you look totally differet and so on with every level. We want something that is similar, but different. Its great people are noticing the similarities to Han Solo, but really we want to make the look as customizable as we can. As we start releasing more updates, I think people will see the various looks that will be available. We don’t want everyone running around with the same armor and the same companions and so on right off the get go.
TN: To me, the look, particularly the armor sets, have more familiarity to the KOTOR games. But, if people would like to make their own judgements they can on that. We are very aware of the timeframe the game is set and are trying to create a look for that time period in the armor, looks, and so on based on the KOTOR games. You see connections throughout time in Star Wars, but it is also important for people to look at the game and say “That’s Star Wars!” Familiar but different.
TN: Each path on the “Kill the Captain” path are completely different, with different gameplay and in other options in the game a choice you make will have effects on NPCs in the game. It effects your dark/light alignment permanently, as you cannot save in an MMO, it effects conversations, gives missions at different points in the game, and changes the immersion and gameplay of the world.
TN: We do not have an exact number, but we are talking hundreds of hours on each class. Huge experience.
And that was our interview. We asked more questions, but most could not be answered so those were the cream of the crop. Hope you enjoyed the read, and hope it answers some questions.
Thanks so much to Tom Nichols for taking the time to talk with us!