Star Wars: The Old Republic Overview

SW:TOR MMO
SW:TOR MMO

Introduction

Star Wars The Old Republic, if you are not already aware, is a Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMO) being developed by Bioware. This article is not designed as a Wiki or a Beta review, but more a brief overview of where the game is currently sitting and what is known thus far.

The announcement of the game was met with great excitement from both the hordes of fanatical Star Wars fans and lovers of the Bioware gaming franchise.

It is Bioware's first foray into the MMO market, and they seem determined to do it right. Since Electronic Arts (EA) purchased Bioware in 2007, there were initial concerns that EA would not give Bioware a free reign to continue to produce RPG's of the stellar calibre that has become expected of them. However, it does appear so far that EA have given them this freedom, and with the release of games like Mass Effect II & Dragon Age Origins under the Bioware/EA belt - people are expecting and hoping for good things from their first MMO.

With EA admitting that this will be their ‘largest ever project’ in terms of budget, and Bioware stating that they are going to bring us ‘the next evolution in MMO Gameplay’ – what can we expect from the upcoming MMO? I am going to take you through a brief tour of what we know to date about Star Wars: The Old Republic.

The Fourth Pillar

One of the big selling points of the game is what Bioware is referring to as the ‘fourth pillar’. When they refer to the fourth pillar they are talking about the Story. They feel that the current MMO market is lacking in real storytelling. They are promising a cinematic experience with world story arcs which should leave you feeling invested in the world and your characters and the actions they take throughout the game. And if we know one thing, if anyone can tell a story right, it’s Bioware.

The game is going to be completely voice acted, with every NPC you talk too and every cut scene voice acted by a professional. This is a pretty big undertaking for Bioware and they have employed a lot of people to get the job done.

Setting

The game takes place 3,500 years before the rise of Darth Vader and 300 years after the events of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. There is currently an uneasy truce between the Sith Empire and the Republic, but events that will occur within the game are leading the galaxy back to a full scale war.

The Bioware developers have stated that the game was not made instead of The Knights Of The Old Republic (KotOR) 3, but was made in the stead of KotOR 3, 4, 5, 6 and so on.

Playable Classes:

Your initial choice will obviously be whether you would like to play as a Sith or a Republican. Once you have decided on that, you will have the following classes available to you:

The Sith Empire

Bounty Hunter – Advanced Classes: Powertech and Mercenary

Sith Warrior – Advanced Classes: Juggernaut and Marauder

Imperial Agent – Advanced Classes: Operative and Sniper

Sith Inquisitor – Advanced Classes: Sorcerer and Assassin

Pictures of Sith Classes from Star Wars: The Old Republic. Click to view full image.
Pictures of Sith Classes from Star Wars: The Old Republic. Click to view full image.

The Galactic Republic

Trooper – Advanced Classes: Commando and Vanguard

Smuggler – Advanced Classes: Gunslinger and Scoundrel

Jedi Knight – Advanced Classes: Guardian and Sentinal

Jedi Consular – Advanced Classes: Shadow and Sage

Pictures of The Galactic Republic in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Click to view full image.
Pictures of The Galactic Republic in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Click to view full image.

Playable Races

The playable races in Star Wars: The Old Republic are listed below and are in image order from left to right:

Humans, Chiss, Rattaki, Twi’lek, Sith Pureblood, Miraluka, Mirialans, Zabrak.

Image of the playable races in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Click to display full image.
Image of the playable races in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Click to display full image.

Confirmed Planets

There will be numerous planets to explore within the game, and each class will have their own starting planet. The planets are listed as follows:

Tatooine, Coruscant, Balmorra, Tython, Korriban, Hutta, Ord Mantell, Alderaan, Voss, Belsavis, Hoth, Taris, Dromund Kaas, Nar Shaddaa, Corellia & Ilum.

Needless to say, the game is going to be huge. Knowing Bioware, each planet will have its own epic story arc and interesting quests to complete.

Companions

Everyone will have 'Companions', who will compromise part of your 'Crew'. These Companions will be NPC's that can assist you with fighting, collecting resources and crafting. Bioware aim to make Companions quite deep, with their own stories and quests that you can work your way through. They also aim to remove the mundane grind of 'collecting' resources by allowing you to delegate those jobs to your companions.

SWTOR Space Combat

Starships & Space Combat

It has been confirmed that each player will get their own Starship dependent on their class relatively early on in the game. These ships will be a home base and a place to interact with Companion characters (for example set them quests/resource gathering/crafting). They will also be the mode of transport between planets.

Space Combat has also been confirmed, but with a point that has sparked furious debate amongst the community. It won't be 'open world space combat', but what is called 'on-the-rails' combat. Which basically means you cannot go wherever you like attacking whatever you please in your Starship. A rail shooter will have clearly defined objectives and you are 'on a rail', so you can only move up/down/left/right but the game will move your ship forwards through the action (think Star Fox on Nintendo). Bioware has stated that this combat will feature a large amount of variety, environments, and mission objectives.

Many see this as a positive, allowing Bioware to continue to focus on the 'fourth pillar', and not attempt to develop out of their current scope. Let's not even get into the multitude of balance issues and bugs/lag that would come with an open world type of space combat (think Eve Online). They have also released gameplay footage which shows the Space Combat to be beautiful, fast and silky smooth. My personal opinion (which you may have gathered from this paragraph) is that Bioware are better off going the route they have, for now at any rate.

Points of Interest

  • SWTOR will contain guilds, crafting, PVP and various other common MMO elements.
  • 'Crew Skills' will be the system behind Crafting, and this will happen on your Starship.
  • The main story of the game will be World Arcs. These will be massive group orientated quests that span a long time and will give the players choices on how the war will play out.
  • The Republic vs Sith war will develop and change dependent on the players.
  • Actions of players can determine who controls a planet and who is allied with each side.

Conclusion

The SWTOR hype machine is definitely in full swing, and the internet is buzzing with the imminent (well, sort of) release, which is slated for mid to end 2011. The launch of this game will be extremely interesting. There is a lot of pain and anger from gamers who feel they have been cheated by a lot of the recent MMO's that were being released unpolished and unfinished (All Points Bulletin, Aion and Tabula Rasa to name a few).

Bioware has a great track record for games, and let us keep in mind that World of Warcraft was Blizzards' first attempt to access the MMO market.

Fanboys are screaming, 'WoW KILLER!' across the Internet, but the more subdued fans like myself, are quietly and eagerly anticipating the release of this game.

Finally, I am aware this article is brief and does not go to in depth, I wanted to provide a quick overview of where the game was currently sitting and what we can expect come release date. If you really want the nitty gritty details I suggest you visit the official website: www.swtor.com

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Comments 11 comments

TwoDee profile image

TwoDee 5 years ago from UK

Cannot wait for this game. Only problem... It has been in development so long that when they actually release it, it will already look dated. I remember reading about this game over 2 years ago, graphics engines change a lot in 2 years.

And there is still no word on a release date for this, my guess is... it will not make it on to shop shelves before 2012


tomsum profile image

tomsum 5 years ago from Australia Author

@TwoDee - It does pose a problem for them, the whole graphics thing. They have definitely CHOSEN to go with the more cartoony look tho. They are also using the HeroEngine which is a relatively new game engine I believe.

Most MMO's have exactly the same problem though. They also want it to be accessible to as many people as possible - so will often release with not-the-latest graphics.

Thanks for your comment TwoDee :)


Protsos 5 years ago

Hmm a nice article really.

I am waiting for this game for a long time it is true.They invested a lot of money in it i really want to see a well finished game and all shows that it will be (even though there were some posts of a certain person that worked for them with not so flattern comments about the game).

Anyway i am interested in it of course because its Star Wars and the story itself will be awesome but i also like this part here: "It has been confirmed that each player will get their own Starship dependent on their class relatively early on in the game. These ships will be a home base and a place to interact with Companion characters (for example set them quests/resource gathering/crafting). They will also be the mode of transport between planets." you wrote.

It feels em how can i put it more rpg to me. Eve online that i am currently playing is starting to make changes towards that direction by allowing the players to have their private quorters in stations (that will be released probably this summer) and later on walk in stations.

At any rate lets see where this game will go..i only hope they don't take much more time to release it.

Again good article!


tomsum profile image

tomsum 5 years ago from Australia Author

@Protsos - Thanks a lot for your comment! The fact that everyone will get their own starship is awesome! :)


Protos 5 years ago

There is also a new newslatter that came out that the guild recruitment has been launced so that for me means that the release is not too far away...finally!

ps: i hate my miss type i wanted to write protos and not protsos :/


tomsum profile image

tomsum 5 years ago from Australia Author

@Protos - Yeah I saw that newsletter! Exciting! It better be released this year...otherwise there will be lots of angry fans :D


Protos 5 years ago

And yes take a look at the gameplay in here....really awesome http://www.swtor.com/media/trailers/taral-v-develo... cant wait to play it even more now!!!


tomsum profile image

tomsum 5 years ago from Australia Author

@Protos - Haha! Good link. Yeah they just released some new vids. It all looks good - but a 2011 release may not happen unfortunately :( Might have to wait til early 2012 at this rate!


Protos 5 years ago

Yea somewhat i doubt there will be a release in 2011 but i believe it will be suicide if they don't release at 2012.The gameplay is really good.If the game has open world like exploring the planets you can visit (like wow when you can ride your mount and explore yourself)it is bound to be my favourite MMO.It reminds me so much of KOTOR!

I think ill either go for a trooper or a smuggler since i believe there will be just too many jedi out there and because they look like fun classes (lazers yea!!)

Crap now i need to watch star wars movies again after years....


Protos 5 years ago

Sorry for another comment but i found something that you and the rest might be pleased to read...

Hi all,

-- the target launch window for STAR WARS: The Old Republic is set for Spring 2011. If you've seen or heard any date more specific than that, you should treat it as speculation or a placeholder from those discussing the date.

Hope that helps!--

This was a post that was made in SWTOD foroums from an admin and he post it at 1/25/11 so that means it has a high possibility it will come out then!!


GDRshop profile image

GDRshop 4 years ago

I JUST PLAYED THE GAME! IT's MAGNIFICENT! I wrote a lengthy article here discussing the Crafting Style in SWTOR http://hubpages.com/games-hobbies/SWTOR-Crafting-G...

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