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Reloading... Outside the Sandbox

Posted Thu, Jul 14, 2011 by Ethec

Welcome to the 36th edition of Reloading…

“For over a thousand generations, the Jedi knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the old Republic…before the dark times… before the empire.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi

Everyone can use a feel good moment to start the day.   Let’s go with this…



I spent a lot of time posting about the Star Wars Galaxies shutdown, but I haven’t spent much time on the other rather large Star Wars title that will be on our desktops soon, Star Wars: The Old Republic.

I’m probably jumping the gun a bit, because I know Jeff’s team is gearing up to launch our very own SWTOR community site, but I felt it was time we took a look at something outside of WoW and EVE. 

So, just to set this straight.  It appears that we get to make choices, but that may not entirely be the case, all the time.

I haven’t personally had a hands-on experience with this title, but many of our team have been so fortunate.   Jeff’s hands-on impressions from E3 2011 are posted here.

“Inside, Bouris Ulgo awaited, and the first group dialogue of the demo began. As Ulgo japed, the team decided (individually) how to respond. Each response got a value of 1-100 and the highest score become the team’s response. This was actually the lowlight of the demo for me. I had hoped that SWTOR would use a weighted scheme – meaning dialogue options got the percentage chance, not the player's individual choice.
"As it stands, one player could pick the dark side option and the other three opt for the light side, and the dark option stands an equal chance of winning. I’d like to see the popular option stand a better chance of winning out. However, that said, players are assessed dark and light side points based on their individual choice, regardless of the group’s action, and replay is usually an option."

So, just to set this straight.  It appears that the player will be given moral choices much like in the Fable series or one iteration of Tabula Rasa, but unlike Fable, those choice may not necessarily have a profound effect on the gameplay. 

My dismay at the moral channel of SWTOR is balanced by my joy at hearing about the companion pets that each class receives.

"Learning about some of the unique companions available was one of the biggest joys of my hands-on time. Each profession had one unique companion [in the demo, that is - you'll have many to chose from in the game], but I got the short end of the stick with Mako, a healer full of sassy one-liners. To her credit, Mako also fought ferociously, but for sheer comic relief she couldn’t hold a candle to Blizz, a jawa (little hooded guys, yellow eyes, remember?) ranged tank whose highly irritating taunts could only compare to his natural cowardice.

"Or Scorpio - a killer droid whose fondest wish is to be released so...you guessed it - she can kill you. Scorpio brought back fond memories of HK-47, a KotOR counterpart, or more recently, GlaDOS in potato form. Either one's fine with me; outrageous companion dialogue is welcome in any party of mine."

I have my concerns about the gameplay mechanics, but at this point they are only irrational concerns as I have no reason to believe that Bioware would create a great story and leave gameplay to float in the wind.
 
I am excited about TOR, and yet, I am very hesitant to be so as I have been desperately disappointed by just about every MMO since the launch of EQ2 and WoW.

Send me your thoughts. As always, you can contact me a number of ways:
  • Email
  • Twitter
  • Telepathy (Just make sure it’s during business hours.  I hate to be woken by this stuff)
Until we meet again,
John “Boomjack” Hoskin
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