Star Wars: The Old Republic


Star Wars: The Old Republic
Star Wars: The Old Republic
Star Wars- The Old Republic cover.jpg
Developer(s) BioWare
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts
LucasArts
Series Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Engine HeroEngine[1]
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s)
Genre(s) MMORPG
Mode(s) Multiplayer
Rating(s)
Media/distribution Optical disc, download
System requirements
Microsoft Windows[4]
  • Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4000 or better / Intel Core 2 Duo Processor 2.0 Ghz or better
  • Memory: At least 1.5 GB RAM for XP / 2 GB or better for Windows Vista/7
  • Graphics: ATI XT1800 or better / NVIDIA 7800 or better / Intel 4100 or better. 256 MB minimum video RAM, shader 3.0 or better fully compatible graphics card.
  • OS: Windows XP / Vista / Windows 7
  • DVD-ROM: 8x or better

Star Wars: The Old Republic, abbreviated as TOR or SWTOR, is an upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game based in the Star Wars universe.[5][6] Currently in development by BioWare Austin and a supplemental team at BioWare Edmonton, the game was first announced on October 21, 2008, at an invitation-only press event.[7] The video game will be released for Microsoft Windows platform on December 20, 2011 in North America and Europe.[8][9]

At a cost rumored to be over $135 million, The Old Republic is one of the most expensive games ever created.[10]

Contents

Gameplay

Players will join as members of either of the two main factions – the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire  Although each faction is led by a benevolent or malevolent leader, it is emphasized that an individual member may possess a morality at any point along the light/dark spectrum. The project's key focus is to differentiate between the player's faction and morality.[11] For instance, a member with ties to the Galactic Republic may belong to the Dark Side while attempting to achieve their own ends, which may be misaligned or dissimilar from the Republic's vision.

While each class in The Old Republic will still favour a certain play style (be it ranged, melee, or otherwise), customization combined with companion characters will make for having a class be able to tackle many different situations, with or without the support of other player characters, and without requiring specific other classes in order to move forward.[12]

Players' choices will permanently open or close storylines and affect players' non-player character (NPC) companions.[11] It is intended that the game should provide more context for characters' missions than any previous MMORPG. Every character in the game, including the player character, will feature full voice dialog to enhance gameplay, and interactions will feature a dialogue system similar to that used in the Mass Effect series.[11] Players will be able to choose from a variety of NPCs, although spending time with a single companion will help more in developing story and content than dividing time among several,[13] and may even develop a love interest.[14] It is possible for players to "blow it big time" if they fail to meet NPCs' expectations.[13] Players will also have access to dozens of planets,[11] including Korriban, Ord Mantell, Nal Hutta, Tython,[15] Coruscant,[16] Balmorra,[17] Alderaan,[18] Tatooine,[19] Dromund Kaas,[20] Taris,[21] Belsavis,[22] Voss,[23] Hoth, [24] Corellia,[25] Ilum[26] and Quesh,[27] and the moon Nar Shaddaa.[28] Every player will receive their own starship, which was announced at Electronic Entertainment Expo 2010.[29]

Footage of space combat was released at Gamescom. The short clip provided by BioWare revealed that space combat would be a "tunnel shooter."[30] A tunnel shooter, otherwise known as a scrolling shooter, is a flying game where the player is on a predetermined track. Game play includes moving right and left on the X axis and up and down on the Y axis; however, players won't have control of the speed of their space craft. Jake Neri, LucasArts Producer, told PC Gamer in their upcoming October 2010 issue that their goal is to "capture the most cinematic moments that we can create. We want players to get in and feel like they're in the movies. It's about highly cinematic, controlled combat moments ... very heroic, action-packed, exciting, visceral and dangerous encounters that'll make you pee your pants."

Plot

The story takes place in the Star Wars fictional universe shortly after the establishment of a tenuous peace between the re-emergent Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic,[31] 300 years after the events of the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic games, and more than 3,500 years before the events in the Star Wars films.[11][32] The Jedi are held responsible for the success of the Sith during the devastating 28-year-long Great Galactic War (which led to the Treaty of Coruscant prior to the Cold War), and thus choose to relocate from Coruscant to Tython, where the Jedi Order had initially been founded, to seek guidance from the Force.[11][33] The Sith control Korriban, where they have re-established a Sith Academy.[34] The game begins as new conflicts arise.[11]

A collaborative effort between BioWare, LucasArts and Dark Horse Comics has resulted in webcomics entitled Star Wars: The Old Republic – Threat of Peace and Star Wars: The Old Republic – Blood of the Empire, the purpose of which is to establish the backstory as the game opens.

BioWare has stated that the game will have a significant focus on the storyline.

Species

There will be a range of playable species for the player to choose from. So far confirmed are Chiss,[35] Human, Cyborg, [36]Miraluka,[37] Mirialan,[37] Rattataki,[38] Sith Pureblood,[37] Twi'lek[39] and Zabrak.[37] Although Humans can pick any class available, other species have been restricted to only several classes each.

An E3 2011 gameplay footage video showed a Rattataki Bounty Hunter.

Classes

Each faction will contain different classes, each with a distinct backstory and a branching storyline affected by players' moral choices.[11] Classes will also be exclusive to one faction or the other, however, the classes of one faction mirror the classes of the other (for example, Jedi Knight and Sith Warrior).[40] Eight classes have been confirmed: the Bounty Hunter,[41] Sith Warrior,[42] Imperial Agent,[43] and Sith Inquisitor[44] for the Sith Empire; and the Trooper,[45] Smuggler,[46] Jedi Knight,[47] and Jedi Consular[48] for the Galactic Republic. Although each class will have a distinct storyline, they will be integrated with the game's overall arc.[49]

Every class has also two specializations.

Republic

  • Trooper; Commando and Vanguard
  • Smuggler; Gunslinger and Scoundrel
  • Jedi Knight; Guardian and Sentinel
  • Jedi Consular; Shadow and Sage

Empire

  • Bounty Hunter; Powertech and Mercenary
  • Imperial Agent; Operative and Sniper
  • Sith Warrior; Juggernaut and Marauder
  • Sith Inquisitor; Sorcerer and Assassin

For Force user classes, lightsaber colors won't be faction or alignment restricted. For example, Jedi will be able to wield red-colored lightsabers and Sith will be able to use blue, but these colors will be hard to attain.[50]

Ships

Each class will have their own starship in the game; each starship will serve as the class'/player(s) base of operations for the game. Bounty Hunter will have the D5-Mantis patrol craft[1]. Sith Warrior and Sith Inquistor will have the Fury[2]. Imperial Agent will have the X-70B Phantom[3]. Smuggler will have the XS Freighter[4]. Trooper will have the BT-7 Thunderclap[5]. Jedi Knight and Jedi Consular will have the Defender[6].

Companions

The game features a passive form of crafting, known as Crew Skills, in which a player's companions carry out gathering and crafting tasks asynchronously to the player's adventures out in the world. The player can assign up to five companions to perform various skills. Crafting skills allow the player's companions to create items. Gathering skills allow the player's companions to gather resources out in the world. Mission skills allow the player's companions to perform acts on the player's behalf, gaining the player light or dark side influence and other unspecified rewards.[51]

During E3 2011, a video was shown with gameplay footage of the Bounty Hunter, along with a Jawa companion named Blizz. The developers stated during the chat that only the Bounty Hunter would be able to get Blizz and that other classes would have unique companions as well, including some companions that are force users.

During the same E3 2011 video feed, it was shown that companions will have a similar character screen as the players and can have gear just like a player character.[52]

Bioware has also confirmed same-sex romance options between characters will be available post launch.[53]

Development

The Old Republic is BioWare's first entry into the MMORPG market,[31] and it will be the second Star Wars MMORPG after Star Wars Galaxies. BioWare had long been interested in working on a MMORPG, but waited until they had "the right partners, the right team, and the right I.P."[11] A major focus in the game is on developing characters' individual stories[31] and, in October 2008, BioWare considered this game to have more story content than all of their other games combined.[11] The writing team has been working on the project longer than any of the game's other development teams.[49] An October 2008 preview noted some of the 12 full-time writers had been working on The Old Republic for more than two years at that point.[11]

The game's first cinematic trailer, "Deceived", was shown at the Electronic Arts 2009 E3 Press Conference on June 1, 2009.[54] A public live demo was shown for the first time at the Gamescom. On September 29, 2009, Bioware announced that they would be accepting applications for testers from the game community. Within minutes, the official website was down due to traffic, and Bioware announced shortly after that the site was being changed in order to accommodate the increase in visitors. A second cinematic trailer, "Hope", was released on June 14, 2010, that depicts another battle that happened before the game, the Battle of Alderaan. Game testing was officially announced to be underway on July 9, 2010, for testers from North American territories. As of September 2010, the official website has shown inclusion of the character Darth Revan and information of his reign in the gameplay. On June 6, a new trailer "Return" was released at E3 2011 depicting the initial Sith invasion force as it retakes its home world of Korriban.

On July 21, 2011, Electronic Arts and BioWare began accepting pre-orders for the game. Pre-order information included the revelation that a limited number of pre-orders, across all editions of the game, would be accepted. It remains to be seen whether this pre-order limit will be reached before the game releases, which would limit the number of people able to play the game at release.

Although set for release in most regions of the world, EA have said Australasia will not be getting the game on its release, but will at a later date.[55] The reason behind this is so to hold back digital and boxed copies for a smooth launch so to avoid any problems encountered during launch.[56] However BioWare have revealed that the game won't be region or IP blocked allowing players to purchase the game from other regions.[57] Additionally BioWare have allowed Australian and New Zealand players to take part in the beta stages of the game. BioWare community manager, Allison Berryman, said “Data from this test will be used to inform decisions about the launch of the game in Oceanic regions,” however she was unable to provide any information in regards to the game's launch in those regions.[58]

On October 11, 2011, Bioware announced that Star Wars: The Old Republic would be released globally on December 20, 2011.[59] However this global launch would be excluding Australia and New Zealand as the launch date had still been staggered for the Oceanic region.[60]

Other media

A novel related to the game written by Sean Williams[61] called Star Wars: The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance was released on July 21, 2010.[62]

An internet comic produced by Dark Horse and written by The Old Republic developer Rob Chestney offers backstory to the game.[63] The story spans ten years from the signing of the Treaty of Coruscant to the events that start the game. The comic, titled Threat of Peace, was released bi-monthly, and reached its conclusion in March 2010.

A second internet comic titled Blood of the Empire has been released and follows the story of a Sith apprentice on a dangerous and secretive mission. It is produced by Dark Horse and written by BioWare’s senior writer Alexander Freed. The story is set 25 years before the Treaty of Coruscant, and offers readers a new perspective of the events leading up to the start of The Old Republic.[64] A sneak preview of the art was released, followed by the first issue on April 23, 2010.

A 256-page novel called Deceived was released by Del Rey on March 22, 2011. This story, by Paul S. Kemp, tells the story of Darth Malgus, the Sith Lord responsible for the sacking of Coruscant.

On April 22, 2011, Bioware announced that Drew Karpyshyn will be writing a book named Revan[65], which will be released on November 15, 2011. This book will feature Revan as the main protagonist and reveal his fate after the Knights of the Old Republic-games.

Music

The music is composed by Mark Griskey, Gordy Haab, Jesse Harlin, Lennie Moore, and Wilbert Roget, II.

Pre-release reception

The title has already received praise from various media outlets several months before its release. Pax East 2011 and E3 2011 provided the public with one of the most recent chances to go hands-on with The Old Republic. Many gaming related news sources gave the project accolades for its showing at the convention[citation needed]. GameTrailers awarded the game both Best RPG and Best Online Game of E3 2010. IGN praised the story of the Jedi Consular, stating that it's easy to focus more on the story instead of the mission at hand. On July 27, 2011, EA announced that The Old Republic broke EA's record for the highest number of pre-orders in their history, allotting over 200,000 reservations in the six days since pre-orders began. In the week of September 21, 2011, it was again ranked as the No. 1 bought product at Bestbuy.com.

See also

References

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  62. ^ Amazon listing
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