Saturday, 25 September 2010

Friday Update 24th Sep

With the current convection season over BW over at SWTOR seem to have got back into the swing of bringing us cool updates.

The current web comic Blood of the Empire come to a head with the final installment, along with the Smuggler video (leaked 2 weeks ago) we get info on the smugglers ship. This is by far the most iconic ship that came from the movies.

We also get a look at the Smugglers companion the Wookiee, 1 last part to note is they have the Twi’lek confirmed as a smuggler playable species. (ok we new this but now its in black and white)

Lets start off the the Web comic, Blood of the Empire #12 not going to tell you here what happens you can read for yourself. But 1 thing I will say is the seems a funny ending for this series. A few times over the last 12 issues, were very confusion jumping all over the place, so I guess this strange ending is kind of fitting.

I'm going to bypass the Smuggler video, as I have already posted about this.

by far Han Solo's ship is is the most iconic in all the Star Wars movies. It almost has a staring roll and takes on its very own persona. The Smuggler would not be complete with out his ship, it is a part of who he is, how he lives and conducts himself. More than any other playable class, the Smuggler see's his ship as an extinction to himself.

The XS stock light can be found here there's a few screen the above video and some extra info. You can feel the scale of the ship in the video, and like the Jedi and Sith ships is massive.

The last real info is the biography of Bowdaar, the Smuggler's Wookiee companion. Anyone who did not think the Wookiee would not be a companion of the Smuggler is... well crazy. We get a nice back story to Bowdaar, and he seems to be all we would hope for and more.
Bowdaar is the mean fighting no hold bared fighter, we have come to love from the movies.
You can find all the info on Bowdaar here enjoy :)

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Story In My MMO

1st off anyone who has had a slight look at TOR, will have the distinct knowledge that the game will be about story. And like many found this concept very interesting and a nice fresh looks at the MMO as a hole.
BW have so far have reminded us at every conceivable opportunity of such (as if we had time to forget). The concept of geting the RPG in the MMORPG, is a great ambitious move on there part.

Though I have not played anything resembling anything like an RPG in years, as I find mmo's a more fun gene to play in. I think the last single player game I sat down and played was Monkey Island 3. This was only due to the fact I had played 1 & 2 in the Amiga days (ask your dads if you too young).

So for a little over a year now, I have felt that most of what we hear is story, story, story. With every release of info (and I use info loosely) brings 10 questions in its place. It like taken a picture of someone running, then showing a friend and asking him, why do you thing he is running ?
Well thats the kind of info we have received over the 2 years of so since TOR was reviled. Nothing to explain whats going on, just a small snap shot of a moment in time. This does seem to have the great effect to mass speculation. The forums buzzing with activity hopping for a small bit of clarification on the latest subject. In all but a hand full of cases still find themselves wanting.

I have until recently been all for the story in my mmo. What started me wavering was the space combat. I know this is some what belated on this subject, but the thing is the more we see and hear. The same question comes back to my mind to complex me.
I play an mmo for every thing that the mmo world brings me. Story being in very short supply, and a thin scattering of quests along the way to end-game. I though TOR would make the journey a much more enjoyable experience, and I'm sure it will be just that.

But to what expense ?

Space combat, being that of a railed shooter, was the 1st instance I had noticed that story got in the way of the mmo part of the game. Defending the shooter to be a story aspect of that like the movies. Using the definition that Han Solo would not go out and mine an asteroid field, and would just jump from battle to battle, and instantly go from a planet to any other destination he saw fit. May be he did not, well someone had to. Does BW really want us to believe that these thing just appear.
On a personal note, I for 1 would harvest an asteroid field.

Being the hero is part of the story, so we get what fits the story.

The latest snip of info that has past the story over the mmo is the dev video of Designing the Light Side. When they say "if you want to get the complete Jedi experience in TOR" you would have to play both Jedi types. At 1st I was thinking yeah well I play a lot of alts anyway. Then it struck me, end-game! and not everyone likes alts.

This clearly looks like part of the end-game will be re-rolling alts, now for me this is not a problem. Though for players coming from different mmo's like WOW. May have played the same avatar for years, or have 2-3 more alts. Which ever way they did, they did it for themselves, and not to finish off a half complete story. Will end game be so bad that the major pushing point that BW is trying to get across, is that re-rolling a new class would be on par with something we should spend years over like end-game content ?

Also with story so big in TOR, and countless times has it been stated that, the story part of the game took very long to get right. And this is in most part responsible for the length of the game development time. Just thinking about this, on par with WOW dev time, and how many hours more it would have placed on that game. How much time would be left to get the mmo part of the game right ?

Story is all well and good, but the 2 examples I have used, show how story drastically inflicts on the mmo side of TOR. I wonder how many other compromises BW had to come to. Just so the story and you being the hero would inflict on your more fundamental part or your everyday mmo feel ? I an not a BW fan boy by any means, and frankly found some of there games vastly lacking. (most part not being a single player type since Ultima online)
I am however I massively experienced mmo player, with countless mmo's under my belt. I dare say I have played 40+ mmo's and beta tested around the same. Some where lacking on what most would consider passable. Though the fun could be found in most to keep your interest from moving on, against your better judgment.

I just hope that BW takes care, not to push story above every thing we true mmo-ers hold dear. Even if that means, that a type of game play like crafting, does not truly hold the hero aspect of the story they are going for.

I keep my fingers crossed every Friday as the months draw closer to release day, that BW does not make my dream mmo aspirations waver any further than they already are.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Fan Friday TOO !!!

With the dev dispatch aside, we also get a very nice fan Friday update to go along with the video.
Just look at the above Pic, now who would not love fan pic's like this huh ?

We get the normal avatars, and other great bits of fan art, with the odd poll here and there is a very telling Dev corner to go with it.

The developer corner, gives you a small insight to how they make the concept art.

From this -

To this -
You can find all the Fan Friday updates here.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Friday Update 17 Sep

At long last we have the Jedi Dev dispatch, after almost 2 years since TOR was revealed, the most iconic class in the Star Wars world come to light.

There is quite a bit of info that you can chomp through in the video, but 1 point I found most interesting is from the Jedi consular. It states that when choosing the healing spec, that your companion will become stronger. It seems to hint that, the consular healing spec companion will most likely have the strongest of all the companions there is.

This will be great news to everyone who plans to roll this class from the start. Normally after a very short time in MMO's, the full support healing spec has to find a group to lvl in any effective way. With having almost all your adv skills as buffs and heals makes you lacking to other classes around you in PvE, and there for makes your leveling experience greatly diminished compared to all of the other classes around you.
Even with your story trailered for your class, making your own leveling experience play to your strengths. You would be to level quite will with-in your own story ark. Though when getting back to the open world, and the every day MOB grind you would be very lacking to the other classes around you.
Having this extra powerful companion, goes along way to even the playing field if you choose to compete with everyone else if you decide to gear grind solo.

The Transdosan looks to be confirmed as the consular companion, it seems quite fitting to have a good tank powerhouse by your side.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Smuggler Video

The Guys over at Machinima have released a very nice video of the Smuggler.
We can see what we expected, that the Wookie is indeed a companion of the smuggler, nice to have the big walking shag carpet with you :)

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Blaine Christine Interveiw @ Pax

You can find the hole interview over at Massively.

As we can expect there no great revelations here, but I did find 1 part of great importance, to me as an avid crafter.

I know you have said much about crafting, but what can you tell me at this point?

We haven't announced details, yet. What I can say is we are hammering out the details of that design right now, and it is going to be different from what people expect. And from what we've tested internally right now, it's very cool, very exciting. I think it's a different take on crafting than what people will be expecting. It's not the standard implementation. It's going to be a treat

By the looks of it, it really is a far cry from the announced system they have said that would be in place, "a WOW with a twist". Frankly with the space combat and a few naff adv class names aside. Crafting is my biggest worry with TOR just a few months away.

If BW gets this part of the game vastly wrong it really could be a deal braker, for me and many like me. Since Ultima online (my 1st mmo) i've been hooked on crafting. Many years had passed till SWG and EVE online could match this very early crafting system.

So again I am infused with hope with this statement, just let crafters do there thing, and make the items created usefull.

Friday's Update Planet & Comic

2 things this week, 1st the web comic Blood of the Empire #11 can be found here.
Not going to try to rune it for anyone but it's a very interesting part of the story.

Next we get a new planet.
Darn got to love planets, after Dev videos this is my second favorite update. This time round we get Corellia. Anyone that played SWG will remember this planet well, though this time round the planet is locked in a war. So expect it to look radially different to the pleasant city's that we came to expect in SWG.

The Holonet has been updated with planet info with a few screens also, and to top it all off theres a video on said planet. The Holonet update can be found here and the video is below, enjoy :)

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Friday Update - Space .... Again ....

Not many ways you could candy coat this little sucker.

All in all this is another none update, putting some info from 3 weeks ago on to the main web site, just does not cut it as an update.
Sure PAX is almost here, so no real info. Why don't BW say space updated, and wait up for PAX.

Let hope a week or 2 after PAX things get back to normal. Friday updates are what the masses look forward to., the past month or so has been dire.
I'm sure the next 2 weeks will be be a re-hash of what comes from PAX.

With only 5-6 months left for the spring 2012 release date, theres more things we don't know than what we do.

On a lighter note - The Jedi Wizard (Adv name class) looks like its going to be looked at again. The outcry from the followers about the naming, made BW stand up and take notice. I do understand the feelings behind this, as I myself hate the Wizard as a class name. They could of picked so many different things, like Mystic or something, Wizard just smells of FAIL.

Well stay tuned for info from PAX should be really good, as this convention seems to turn up the best insights of what the fans are looking for. Fingers crossed its crafting, but lets hope its a far cry from the WOW with a twist that they have said it would be like.